Pharmacy News

Guidance on use of face coverings by patients and customers during the Covid-19 pandemic

From 24th July 2020, people in shops, including community pharmacies, are required by law to wear a face covering (subject to some exemptions).

Key aspects of the new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings in a Relevant Place) (England) Regulations 2020 include:

  • It is not compulsory for a member of staff in a shop to wear face coverings (but see also our guidance on use of PPE in pharmacies);
  • Certain people are exempt from the requirements, for example, children under the age of 11;
  • There are reasonable excuses for not wearing a face covering, which include a person who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or because of a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010, or those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering without severe distress;
  • If asked by a pharmacy staff member, a person in the pharmacy may remove their face covering in order to assist in the provision of healthcare or healthcare advice;
  • A face covering can be removed to take medication, e.g. to consume methadone in a pharmacy; and
  • Where a relevant person, such as a police constable or police community support officer, considers that a person who should wear a face covering is not wearing one, he or she may direct that person not to enter the relevant place, or direct that person to wear a face covering, or direct that person to leave the premises.

The liability for wearing a face covering is with the individual, not the retailer.

A pharmacy may refuse to provide medicines and appliances on prescription if a person commits or threatens to commit a criminal offence. The police have formal enforcement powers and can issue fines for people refusing to comply with the face covering legislation, and the Government has indicated that retailers could refuse entry to people refusing to wear a face covering.


£6 million is wasted every year across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent on medicines that people don’t use. Those medicines end up being thrown away because they can’t be used by anyone else. The NHS hasn’t got this money to spare. We need every penny to provide healthcare.
We are asking Pharmacies, GP Practices and everyone who takes or orders medicines to play their part in making sure that we don’t waste money in this way.
Here are the most important things that we can sign up to do to help cut down on this waste and save millions.

I will check what medicines I have before ordering more.
I will check my bag of medicines as soon as it’s given to me and hand back any I don’t need.
I will let my GP practice or Pharmacy know if I don’t need any of my medicines.

We pledge to…
– gain written consent from patients before managing repeat ordering services on their behalf.
– ask the patient about how much medication they have at home before re-ordering to avoid unnecessary waste
– not accept “please order all items” instruction from patients/carers/representatives, or include ‘as required’ items in automatic ordering services.
– encourage all patients to check their bag for items not needed on delivery.
– inform the prescriber about medicines which are no longer delivered or ordered.

We will only add a medicine to a repeat prescription once a patient is stable on it.
We will use a 28 day (monthly) repeat prescription for most patients.
We will regularly review patients’ repeat medicines.

The Responsible Pharmacist for today is Zhe Soo (registration number 2225196).

We will be closed on official Bank Holidays on the following dates:

Monday 31st May 2021

Monday 30th August 2021

Monday 27th December 2021

Tuesday 28th December 2021

Aldergate Pharmacy complies with the Data Protection Act and the NHS Code on Confidentiality.

That time of year has arrived when we start to suffer with hayfever and other related symptoms. We can offer advice on easing symptoms, recommend a suitable treatment option and can deliver over-the-counter medicines to you. Alternatively, you may be advised to see your doctor. We offer a free Medicine Use Review, this is a service for people who are on regular prescription medication. The aims of the service are to check that you are taking or using your medication correctly and getting the maximum benefit from them and answer any questions you may have about them.

Please speak to a member of the pharmacy team for more details. We also now offer a new service for patients with particular conditions (e.g. high blood pressure, asthma) who are prescribed a medicine for the first time. This involves consultations with our pharmacist once you start taking the new medication to ensure effectiveness and working together to try to reduce any problems that may arise when starting the new medicine. Please contact us for more information.


We process your personal data which includes your name, contact details, prescription medicines and data from other pharmacy and healthcare services we provide to you (including, for example, pharmacy medicines, Medicine Use Reviews, New Medicine Service, Flu Vaccinations and Stop Smoking Services) for the purposes of:

Your care – providing pharmacy services and care to you and, as appropriate, sharing your information with your GP and others in the wider NHS;

Our payments – sharing your information with the NHS Business Services Authority, others in the wider NHS, and sometimes Local Authorities, and only limited information to those external to the NHS who negotiate and check the accuracy of our payments; and,

Management – sharing only limited information with the NHS Business Services Authority and others in the wider NHS, and sometimes Local Authorities; as well as those external to the NHS who ensure we maintain appropriate professional and service standards and that your declarations and ours are accurate.

We hold your information for as long as advised by the NHS. You have a right to a copy of the information we hold about you, generally without charge. You may seek to correct any inaccurate information.

We process your personal data in the performance of a task, in the public interest, for the provision of healthcare and treatment and management of healthcare systems. A pharmacist is responsible for the confidentiality of your information. You may also lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Please ask if you want more information. (You may choose to opt out of the NHS using your data for planning and research purposes – please ask for details).

Our Data Protection Officer is Sharon MacBean e-mail:

We now have the results of the NHS Pharmacy Patient Survey for contract year 2019 – 2020, please see below.

Top areas of performance:

Providing an efficient service.
90% of patients rated very good

10% of patients rated fairly good..

Hoaving in stock the medicines/appliances you need?
100% of patients rated very good.

How long you have to wait to be served?
83% of patients satisfied.

Areas in greatest need for improvement:

Providing advice on a current health problem or a longer term health condition.
61% of patients rated very well.

17% of patients rated fairly well.

22% of patients rated never used.

Action plan within 6 months:
Advice provided over the phone and during MUR consultations.

Providing general advice on leading a more healthy lifestyle.

16% of patients rated very well.

12% of patients rated fairly well.

72% of patients rated never used.

Action plan: Advice provided over the phone and during MUR consultations.

Physical exercise.

87% of patients dissatisfied.

Action plan within 6 months:
Advice given over the phone, on our website and during MUR/NMS consultations.

Our reply to your additional comments:

Areas within control of the Pharmacy:

We aim to provide the best service we can.

Areas outside control of the Pharmacy:

Several questions are irrelevant as we are a distance selling pharmacy.

Age range of customers:
16-19 1%
20-24 7%
25-34 1%
35-44 6%
45-54 11%
55-64 17%
65+ 57%

Profile of customers choosing our Pharmacy:
Probably chosen: 94%
One of several Pharmacies: 3%
Just for convenience: 3%

As a NHS Pharmacy we are contractually required to carry out an annual survey of our patients. This survey takes a number of areas into consideration. A leaflet has been produced to provide you with the results of the survey where we performed well and where we will be looking to improve. The information contained in the leaflet can also be found above. If you have any questions or comments about the results then please speak to a member of our team.

The customer survey results have been processed and analysed by intelliPharm Ltd.